What is an exclusion?

Exclusion is when a child is not allowed to attend school permanently. A suspension is when a child is not allowed to attend school temporarily.

An exclusion or suspension will typically follow an incident in which the child has behaved in a way that is described as being unacceptable in the school's behaviour policy.

The headteacher can only exclude a child in line with the school’s behaviour policy.

An exclusion is a traumatic event in a child’s life. It can bring about feelings of confusion, rejection, fear and uncertainty. It can change how a child feels about their own worth. This young person's guide to permanent exclusion can help them to make sense of what is happening. 

Types of exclusions

Permanent exclusions

A permanent exclusion is when the headteacher decides that your child should not return to that school. Schools should only exclude a pupil permanently as a last resort and usually as a consequence of:

  • serious or continuous breach of the school’s behaviour policy; and
  • a risk of harm to others in the school setting

If a school experiences a serious incident involving a child, which they feel gives them no choice but to exclude that child, the headteacher should contact their Team around the School. Alternatively a school can contact our Exclusions Team for further support and next steps.

We can ensure that if no other option is available, there is an excellent level of information sharing that will inform planning and keep the child's needs at the centre of the process.


A suspension is when the headteacher excludes a pupil from school for a set number of days. This can be up to 45 school days in any year.

Schools must provide excluded students with full-time education from the sixth day of exclusion.

After an exclusion or suspension

Following a suspension, a child should be reintegrated back into school with a meaningful support plan in place (where appropriate). This has actions for the adults in their lives (teachers and parents) to support the child to resettle and to begin to thrive in school. 

Following a permanent exclusion, your child will not be able to return to that school unless they are reinstated during the process that follows the exclusion.

Read the school exclusions guide for parents (GOV.UK).

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

If a child or young person has SEND and is at risk of exclusion or has been given a fixed term or permanent exclusion, you can find more information on the Hackney Local Offer website.


Primary Exclusion Officer

020 8820 7054

Secondary Exclusion Officer

020 8820 7569
This page was last modified on: 20 Feb 2024